It was only a few hours ago when BMW provided a first official look at the next-generation 5 Series and now we’re given the opportunity to get acquainted with the M Performance version. In both instances, the German luxury brand is focusing on the first-ever i5, which we believe will wear the “M60” suffix for the sporty derivative. Expect it to go on sale from day one alongside the standard i5 to echo the strategy used for the i4 / i4 M50.
Testing at the Arctic Circle
Meanwhile, BMW M is hyping up the i5 M60 through an initial teaser video shot at its testing facility near the Arctic Circle. Red Bull Driftbrothers Elias and Johannes Hountondji were invited to hop behind the wheel of the purely electric 5 Series M Performance in Arjeplog, northern Sweden. We can see the talented duo performing synchronized drifting with prototypes wearing all of the production body panels as well as the final headlights and taillights.
The i5 M60 is likely to be the most potent 5 Series outside of the M5. Expect an all-wheel-drive electric super sedan with dual motors making a combined output of just under 600 horsepower. It’ll be slightly down on power compared to the iX M60 but should prove to be just as quick by having a lower curb weight. Logic tells us it’ll also be more fun to drive thanks to a lower center of gravity, giving it sharper handling.
As impressive as the horsepower figure will be, the immense torque delivered virtually instantly will make the BMW i5 M60 a real hoot to drive. The iX M60 delivers as much as 1,100 Newton-meters (811 pound-feet) when launch control is activated, and while the sedan might not match that, it should still have mountain-moving torque.
Positioned below the i5 M60 will likely be an i5 eDrive40 with rear-wheel drive and a single electric motor. BMW promises a “further upgraded” fifth-generation eDrive will debut with the i5, so we’re expecting better efficiency to achieve a longer range and possibly shorter charging times. However, the real revolution in terms of EV tech won’t premiere until 2025 when the Neue Klasse architecture will be inaugurated.
iDrive 8.5 coming to the new 5 Series
The 5 Series G60 / i5 will be the first production BMW to feature the iDrive 8.5 infotainment system with a curved display and very few conventional buttons on the center console. With the ICE, PHEV, EV variants riding on the CLAR platform, they’ll all look just about the same inside and out, thus echoing the relationship between the 7 Series G70 and the i7.
The world premiere is scheduled to take place in the coming months, ahead of a market launch in October. Come 2024, a 5 Series Touring will also be offered in an i5 guise. Around the middle of the decade, the lineup will be completed with the launch of a new M5 Sedan and M5 Touring. The dynamic duo will offer roughly 700 horsepower from a plug-in hybrid V8 setup adapted from the XM.
Source: BMW M